Oral Cancer Awareness Month, April 2017 From 2009-2013, approximately 80 people in North Dakota were diagnosed annually with cancer of the oropharynx (oropharyngeal cancer). There are many risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer, and being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) has been recognized as one of the leading causes of new oropharyngeal cancer diagnoses, especially among young men. In the U.S., about 3,100 women and 12,638 men are diagnosed with HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers each year.
Dental professionals are in a unique position to provide education and materials to their patients about preventing HPV infections and HPV-related cancers. Many children who may not see a physician annually are likely still receiving dental care in the clinic or via outreach services. Therefore, we see dental professionals as an essential partner in the efforts to raise awareness about HPV and promote the HPV vaccination, especially with the staggering increase in HPV-associated head and neck cancers. Together, we can provide the best information and promote cancer prevention. We would like you to join with us in our efforts to increase HPV vaccination rates and decrease HPV-associated cancers in North Dakotans.
The North Dakota HPV taskforce, initiated in 2012 to improve HPV immunization rates in North Dakota as cancer prevention for future generations of men and women, has been exploring new ways to reach parents and adolescents with credible information about HPV infection, risk, cancer, and how it can all be prevented. They have created an Oral Cancer Awareness toolkit that includes social media messages, printable materials, and other resources that you can provide to your patients 11-26 years old and their parents to support this mission.
In addition to the social media toolkit intent, there are other ways to use this material:
1. Your office can save all of the photo images into a folder on computers and set them as your patient room and office screensavers.
2. Your office can print the images on post cards, letters, or reminders for patients that are 11-26 years old.
3. If your office uses an internal TV for advertising, consider using the images below as still ads on your screens.